Monday, August 16, 2010

Washing Cloth Diapers

Because my goal here is to simply create one space where you may find all kinds baby and parenting related things in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, I often don't feel the need to write a bunch of wordy wordiness, but instead just direct you to a resource that you might find helpful.

Therefore, I'd like to share the best instructions I've come across for washing Cloth Diapers - on the Nicki's Diapers blog.

I've done A LOT of research on Cloth Diapers, so believe me, I really do feel these are easy to understand and very direct, which is great because washing cloth diapers is what I think scares people away from cloth diapering all together.

I hope this will help anyone who had any doubts or questions about washing cloth diapers!

Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child

A friend told me about the radio show "Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child," on 93.9 The River on Saturday mornings from 8am-10am. I love it! Ruby loves it! They play great music for kids and their adults!

And luckily, they have online audio archives for those of us who aren't up/active from 8-10am, and for those of you who aren't local. 

Listen and enjoy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga

Back when I was still pregnant, I wrote about prenatal yoga in this area. Since then, I've found several resources for both prenatal AND postnatal yoga here in the Pioneer Valley and wanted to share them.

The prenatal yoga classes I ended up going to were through Cooley Dickinson Hospital (at the Amherst location; there's one in Northampton as well). The classes were led by Arden and were gentle, relaxing and very informative about all things pregnancy and birth related, to boot. It was in one of those classes where I first felt my daughter move!

I feel it is quite difficult to find sufficient info on the internet for Cooley Dickinson classes, so this is kind of a rigmarole, but for Prenatal classes you can click here to view the calendar (then click on Prenatal Yoga - it will give some info & tell you to the number to call for registration).

Now that Ruby's here, I'm looking for us to go to yoga together. We haven't gone yet, but in my looking I've found a few likely candidates:

Yoga Sanctuary in Northampton offers pre and postnatal, baby-friendly classes. I know people who have been very pleased with the prenatal classes here.

Vega Yoga in Holyoke also offers an "Infant-friendly Yoga" class that doesn't seem to involve the baby, but the pre-crawler is welcomed there.

Cooley Dickinson Hospital offers Momma & Baby Yoga on Mondays and Wednesdays (again in Amherst and Northampton). This class is the only option I've found that includes the baby in the description: "Fun and therapeautic movement for baby" so it seems like a great option for us!

I'm sure there's more out there, but these can get you started!


We haven't taken it yet, but when searching for a Mama & Baby Yoga class in the Pioneer Valley, this sounds like a great one! Ruby and I definitely plan to take it soon.

I wanted to share this information, but couldn't find it online, so this is copy & pasted from the email info I get:

On-Going class

Bring your baby! From 6 – 7 weeks old up to experienced crawlers welcome.

Get back in shape, have fun with your baby, and connect with other parents.
•    Center through breathing and awareness
•    Reduce stress
•    Get relief from aches and pains due to nursing and poor posture
•    Recondition abdominals and pelvic floor
•    Recover from rigors of childbirth
•    Fun and therapeutic movement for baby
•    Stay strong and centered through demands of childrearing

You can linger an additional 15 minutes at the end of class. In that time, we are happy to do poses with you that you might have missed because you were busy with your baby.

Om Shanti – Arden and Corinne
When you pre-register, leave your phone number and the dates (one or all) you are planning to attend. We reserve the right to cancel class if there are (4) four or less students pre-registered.

If you can’t make class for an unexpected reason,
please call or email your teacher the day before to let her know

COST: $13 each class OR $44 for four classes. Financial Aid is available.
Bring mat, baby blanket, toys and whatever else you feel is necessary.

Classes are offered every month continuously. The schedule below is a sample of dates.

Mondays in Northampton
at Cooley Dickinson Hospital      

10:15 – 11:30 

AUGUST 9 in Childbirth Conf. Room
AUGUST 2 & 16  in Conf. Room B
No Class Aug 23, 30 & Sept 6

Pre-register CALL or EMAIL: ARDEN

Park at the main entrance and please use free valet.

Classes in Conference Room B        
Take the stork elevator to lowest floor.
Walk straight ahead.
Class in Childbirth Conference Room
Take the stork elevator to the top floor (1)
Directly across from the elevator.

Wednesdays in Amherst
170 University Drive, CDH outpatient building across from CVS and Big Y. 

10:30 – 11:45

AUGUST 4, 11, 18 & 25


Meets in the Community Room
on the top floor.

If using front entrance, walk upstairs.

If using back entrance, take elevator to top floor and go to the opposite end of building
from Hampshire OB/GYN)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Elizabeth Mitchell

Ruby and I are out of town, but in the meantime, here's a great music recommendation! 
A lovely friend gave me this CD of Elizabeth Mitchell's children's music, and I haven't been able to stop listening to it. I seriously love it.

This song, "Little Bird, Little Bird," is so precious. I've even started calling Ruby my "sugar lump"!


Sunday, August 1, 2010

World Breastfeeding Week

Today marks the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week!

You know what I'm doing to celebrate? Weaning my baby. Ha! That's right - I'm sticking it to the (breastfeeding wo)man!

Remember back when I discussed my breastfeeding issues? In a nutshell, my daughter didn't latch on properly to begin with (because of her own in utero, self-soothing, tongue sucking habit) which led to a low supply for me, which never got better, despite all and every attempt. So, from early on we've supplemented with formula (through a bottle) and I knew that one day she'd reject the breast and only want the bottle. I've mentally and emotionally prepared myself for this for a long time, and obviously wanted to prolong the breastfeeding as much as possible.

About a week ago she started refusing the breast during the day. I tried, but there was crying, screaming, general freaking out. This has continued for a week, and now she only nurses at night, and those feedings are getting shorter and shorter. I don't know if she's getting impatient or I'm just not producing as much (likely) or fast enough for her, or what... but our nursing days are clearly about to end.

But you know what? Today she turned 3 months. That was a goal I wanted to reach in our breastfeeding relationship, and we did it. And I'm so, so thankful.

And even though everyone knows, or thinks, breastfeeding is best, I have been so humbled by this experience. I know that it doesn't always work out, and there's nothing wrong with bottle and formula feeding.

There is so much pressure (especially in this area) to breastfeed, that I feel there's no room for anyone else. One socializing option Ruby and I had was to go to breastfeeding clinics and groups around here, and I decided not to, because I feel like people might judge me. I hope I'm wrong, and I considered going, but right when I did is when Ruby started to prefer the bottle (I don't know if I'd consider this weaning, or baby-led weaning or what?). So I've gone to other groups instead.

Anyway, whether you breastfeed or formula feed, good for you for giving your baby whatever nourishment that baby needs - that's all the matters!

The Baby Community in the Pioneer Valley

I finally got my act together last week and got the hell out of the house in Easthampton, and out into the baby community of the Pioneer Valley!

We ventured into neighboring Northampton and Hadley for our baby events last week.  Now, I had originally considered baby-oriented happenings on here a couple weeks ago and then procrastinated and kept to myself. But no longer!

First, I went on to (what would we do without the internet??) and looked up baby and parent groups in the area. I found three and requested to join all of them. I heard back from two (both seem to be more "official" mommy and me groups) that I had to attend one meetup before I'd be allowed access to the page and events.

So, last Saturday Ruby and I headed out and to Barnes and Noble in Hadley, for story time. Although this event is open to the public, the Amherst Parents Group folks were getting together there as well. We met some very nice parents and kids, ranging from 6 months (Ruby was the youngest) to about 4 years old. It was great, and I am excited to go to another meetup with this group (there seems to be a get together nearly every day!)!

The next day I consulted my Macaroni Kid email and saw that on Monday mornings there's "Tummy Time" at the Forbes Library in Northampton. We knew that the Easthampton Family Center also had an informal summer play group at Nonotuck Park on Monday mornings, but because the Tummy Time at Forbes was aimed specifically at non-crawlers/walkers, I figured we'd meet babies more in Ruby's age group, as opposed to toddlers. And we did! Another successful outing!

This week Ruby and I are going out of town on Thursday (to NYC so Ruby can get in touch with her roots for the first time!) but we plan to definitely go to Tummy Time again tomorrow, and on Tuesday we will either go to Lilly Library in Florence for morning storytime (I looked at their website and couldn't find the details, but if I hear more through word of mouth I'll post it here) or to the "New Mom's Circle" at Cradle at 1pm.

It's just so nice that now that we are out and about, we have lots of great options. I love this area!